Saturday, 31 May 2008

Live Fast, Die Old.

"I must be the most drunk diabetic in the world"...he hasn't met our Skum yet!

The other five parts can be found over on YouTube.

ATP - The Nightmare Before Christmas 2008

All Tomorrow’s Parties have just announced that the next curators for the NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS festival (taking place in December 2008) will be Mike Patton and Melvins.

The event will take place December 5th, 6th and 7th at Butlins Holiday Camp in Minehead. The line up so far looks like this:
Curated by Melvins:

Neil Hamburger
Big Business

Curated by Mike Patton:

Fantômas perform The Director's Cut
The Locust

From the festival website:

All tickets include a 3-day festival pass and 3 nights accommodation. Ticket includes performances starting from mid-afternoon, with around 40 acts set to play live across the weekend. There are four pubs and DJ sets through till late, plus three nights in a self-catering chalet or room only accommodation all with private bathroom suites and TV’s.

Blastonbury Festival 2008

Grind Madness in the Far Northeast of England....about 60 pence per act!!!!

Isn't the UK part of Europe any more?

You lucky mainland European types. You get to sit in the sunshine quite a bit, an awful lot of you get to go to a football match with no fear of getting your head kicked in, you have decent lager, and what's more, Japan's Sabbat have decided to come and pay you a visit.
I'm jealous, I really am.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Another Dry Spell...

... I don't even know when the next gig is, or where we we'll be when we're watching it.
It's all just finally melted into one big long festival of aftershocks, dark wounds and blurry nights, to quote those squires from Darkthrone. It has been 74 weeks straight since we started doing this full time you know, and that's top notch if you ask me.
So, for your enjoyment, we now have not one, not two, but three posts about this past Tuesday's Dio gig, and at long last a post about metal madmen Ravens Creed at the Fenton the night before for your perusal, you lucky people, preferably whilst you listen to No Sleep Til Hammersmith.
So for now, this is Patchie saying stay clean, stay angry, and always live to win.

On Thee Death Decks this week:
Rainbow - Rising
Motörhead - Another Perfect Day
Today is the Day - Axis of Eden
Girlschool - Collection
Crawe - Doomed to Fail
Celtic Frost - Parched With Thirst Am I And Dying
Black Sabbath - Mob Rules
Red Right Hand (or redrighthand, I ain't sure, it's a copy) - They Sang and Chanted For Hours, Then Locked in Hundreds and Set Themselves Ablaze
Moss - The Demo Years (another copy)
Sally - C-Earth

On Thee EyePod:
All kinds of shite, most of it embarrassing.

Feasting my eyes on:
Thee Sheriff of Huddersfield Dean Crawe's amazing felt-tipped-pen skills on CD inserts.
The Fall by Mark E Smith and Mick Middles.

Dio, Girlschool, Birmingham Academy 27th May 2008

...or, The March of The Doom Droids.

As SJW has pointed out in his post, we weren't allowed to take his camera into the gig with us, and I'd not taken mine because it's just one more thing to lose really, isn't it (oh yeah and it's broken too), so any and all photos taken on this particular day are from the journey there and the March of The Doom Droids on the way back.

There was no getting lost or 45-minute phone calls for us this time; I stayed (relatively) sober because we'd caned it a bit the night before (the look on Skum's hangover-riddled face when I came out of the shop with a crate of lager was priceless, I think his words were " could you?" haha) and I was on map-reading duties, so we arrived in no time, navigating a seemingly improbable one way system as only true metal vagabonds with a gig to go to can.
The three hour, spiral-shaped journey around the centre of Birmingham the week before with Anna directing us along probably helped as well.
We arrived, joined the massive queue and sank a few cans, and arrived just in time to pick up a shirt, get some more beers, and watch Girlschool's set.
For those of you not in the know, Girschool are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year (making them as old as yours truly) and play good ol' British biker rock/metal. They were spot on, so much so that afterwards I went looking for their merch to get hold of a the CD with Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi collaborating with them, but there was none to be found. It'll probably lose me a few kvlt points but fuck it, Girlschool are top notch, squire.
Skum has a setlist in his post for this show; Opening with Holy Diver this was an excellent selection of tracks from Dio, even if there were no Sabbath songs included alongside the Dio and Rainbow tracks, maybe this is another one of Ozzy's (Iron Maiden hating) wife's moves? Anyway, the set was good, Ronnie James got a bit pissed off with Simon Wright's (ex-AC/DC) drumming at the end of (I think) Rainbow in the Dark - turning to him and demanding to know (over the PA) "Are you fucking deaf?", much to the amusement of Thee Claw. Wright more than made up for this with a cracking drum solo, accompanied in part by Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture.
Ending the show with a triple treat of Long Live Rock And Roll, The Last in Line and We Rock, this was truly a night to remember.

Oh, and we also saw an erstwhile ex-Iron Maiden vocalist hiding under a huge skull print bandana at the bar.
As for The March of The Doom'll just have to wait to see what that was all about!

Link: Girlschool
Link: Dio

Ravens Creed, Leeds Fenton, May 26th 2008

We knew it was going to be a good one.
It was a bank holiday and we were all off, we'd been invited to a barbecue at our friend Diz's (who has moved from Liverpool to Leeds).
We travelled down in the afternoon, stopping off on Saddleworth Moor but not finding any bodies.

We were a bit too early for Dizzy's party, so we popped along to see Dawn and Mark and Ben and Amy on the way, finally rolling up to Diz's just in time to be spoiled rotten with the spread of vegan and vegetarian (with meat for Skum and SJW) food they had prepared. Nice one Diz, it was great to see you again and meet your better half at last too!
So from here we popped up to the Fenton to meet up with Dean and get into some beer.
"Irish" John even popped in, fresh from the Planet X 25th Anniversary celebrations in Liverpool the day before, looking all windswept and dramatic.

I missed the first band, and I wasn't into the second one, sorry. Another band had to pull out for some reason or another, so after a few pints it was time for Ravens Creed.

Ravens Creed feature members of Orange Goblin, Iron Monkey, Cerebral Fix, Sabbat (UK), Skyclad.... a total who's who of the true! But put aside any idea you may have of what they sound like, it's pure early thrash worship here, total Venom/old Slayer style stuff with an unmistakably British swagger.

The crowd was a bit sparse (it was Bank Holiday Monday like I say) but those of us that had bothered to turn up were treated to war-obsessed, serial killer thrash metal, all held together with some fucking amazing drumming from Jay Graham.
Every time I turned to look at Dean he was just like "...drums..." haha.

Ravens Creed should really be massive, with all this fake nu-thrash that's currently doing the trendy magazine rounds, they could blow them all away with a true love for the music and a proper thrash metal pedigree, but they'll probably stay ultra underground in England, because this country wouldn't know a good thing if it drank all their beer, kicked it out of it's own house, then pissed in the fireplace.

Watch them, they're top notch, squire.
(extra claw points to SJW for pulling the car over on the hard shoulder of the M62 Motorway in the dead of night and making the Thee Claw strut up and down to AC/DC's "It's a Long Way To The Top" whilst trucks and cars hurtled past at 90-odd miles an hour)
Link:Ravens Creed

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

...Like a rainbow in the dark

The DIO Birmingham setlist....

01. Holy Diver
02. Killing the Dragon
03. The Eyes
04. Don't Talk to Strangers
05. Drum Solo
06. Sacred Heart
07. Rainbow in the Dark
08. Temple of the King
09. Kill the King (with extra added, totally random "LOOK OUT!!!")
10. Guitar Solo
11. Lord of the Last Day
12. Rock 'n' Roll Children
13. Stand Up and Shout
14. Man on the Silver Mountain
15. Catch the Rainbow
16. Long Live Rock and Roll
17. The Last in Line
18. We Rock

Let me get this straight, Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell singer Ronnie James Dio plays a gig in Sabbath City without playing any Sabbath material, interesting concept, but it worked, he didn't have to play anything from his Sabbath years, it made me appreciate how amazing his solo stuff is. The choice of solo songs and even Rainbow songs more than made up for it.
Hail to Ronnie, the guy clearly loves it up on that stage!!!!
Certainly a memorable night for Thee Claw!!!!

Late Night Antics On The Road Home After Dio

Roadside fun with Thee Claw Boys. You really don't need to know what that was in those buckets.

We weren't allowed to take the big camera into the DIO concert tonight (my fault for not calling the venue in advance and arranging a photo pass). Anyway, it was an awesome show, the support band were GIRLSCHOOL - or, as SKUM has rechristened them, MILFschool. They were outstanding. And DIO never let us down... You know, I think I even saw R.J.D. throw a claw at one point instead of his trademark devil horns. Musta been a mistake!

Also, tonight was the 30th concert of the 2008 CLAW ON TOUR. That's 30 gigs, including 4 all-day events (each being counted for 1 concert apiece even though they could notch up about 30 more bands between them if you wanted to be picky), and we're only just gettin started. Bring on Twickenham!

We still owe you a review and some photos from the RAVENS CREED gig over in Leeds from yesterday. Mark my words, that band is going to be legendary.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Clawmobile Playlist - May 2008

Here's just some of the CDs that have been being blasted at high volume & even higher speed on various roadways around Merry Olde England during the month of May 08:

Darkthrone: F.O.A.D.
Judas Priest: British Steel
Iron Maiden: Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Saxon: Mixtape CD
Raven's Creed: Militia of Blood E.P.
Charger: Spill Your Guts
Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath / Dehumanizer
Rollins Band: Live in Germany 2003 (performing Black Flag covers)
Cathedral: Endtyme
Warning: Watching From A Distance
Yob: The Unreal Never Lived
Misfits: Coffin Boxset

Yes sir, we've been doing plenty of serious traveling lately so it only makes sense that we've been doing plenty of serious listening too. I'm especially taken by the Saxon mix CD that SKUM has left in the car after our trip to Birmingham. Did I mention already how I met Biff Byford last year when we were at the Heaven & Hell gig in Manchester? I was stood to one side of the stage, right up next to a security barrier, and I happened to turn and look away from the stage area for just a brief moment... and there he was, right next to me. Biff Byford, rock warrior. The man is heavy metal genius!

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Two New Flyers...

...or fliers if you like.....

The other day was the day

I know I'm a little bit late with this but whatever, I've been enjoying the sun and sleeping in the dark in work.

The other night we went to Birmingham, England's Second City, to check out Today Is The Day on their latest tour, and although I'm going to do a little review in a bit, I'm sure that I won't be saying too much other than what SJW has already said in his post, other than voicing my opinions.
I'll fill you in a bit on the travelling and stuff though.

We left Liverpool around 3ish, and travelled down the motorway listening to Saxon and Iron Maiden, drinking cold cans of beer that had been purchased just before we left.
Well, when I say we, me and Skum were, I felt a bit sly on SJW cos he had to drive.
We swung into a service station on the way to pick up some porn; for some reason we can't travel anywhere without buying some to laugh at in the car, and plus the fact it's always amusing when you have to get served with a mucky book by a young girl.

About 6 miles outside Birmingham, Ste noticed that the police were tailing us. Does police have a capital p? I'm not giving them one anyway. Just as we went to turn off the motorway they turned on the flashing lights and pulled us over.
For some reason, laughing hysterically (probably because we were a bit smashed by now), Skum and I started trying to hide the porn under the seats; so obviously when the police came and opened the door they wanted to know what we were hiding.
"Just this filth mate" we said.
"That's alright, you can read....Naughty Neighbours you know",
After all, three lads from Liverpool (the rear of Thee Clawmobile makes it perfectly obvious where we have travelled from) all dressed in black and wearing sunglasses, drinking lager and listening to loud music, well we were asking to be pulled over weren't we?
Anyway, they went off and checked our names on their little computer, got shocked that we were clean (not as shocked as I was) and put their lights back on and fucked off quickly, like there was something infinitely more interesting happening a few miles down the motorway.

Right then, off into Birmingham it is.
For some reason, most of the cities in England now all have one-way road systems in place in the centre, which is probably awesome for everyone who lives there but is really shit for people from another city trying to get through it without directions.
By this time, Skum and I were well oiled, and after about the four millionth time going around the chinese pagoda roundabout we decided to swallow our pride and ask a policewoman for directions, but she just confused matters even more. I think she did anyway, me and Skum were too busy pissing about to really take any notice. I think SJW was ready to explode at this point. So, we went off again, back around the pagoda, and we spotted a "Rock and Roll Cocktail Bar", so Ste parked up and sent an already drunk Skum and Patchie in to ask for directions.
This was a bad idea.
I bet you can't guess what happened.
That's right, we walked in, and instead of asking for directions, we bought two pints of Lager and started wondering if they had Appetite for Destruction in the jukebox.
I'd like to take this moment to apologise to Ste, who obviously has the patience of a saint, and I like to think that I made up for it by phoning my girlfriend and having her call up Google Maps on the PC and give us directions on speakerphone.

So we arrived at the venue, and sat outside talking to the lads from Complete Failure, then went in and spoke to Steve Austin, and then watched three of the four bands who were playing, as we'd already missed ???? due to getting lost.
If you want a proper review, check out Ste's post, but here's my opinions:
Complete Failure were awesome Grindcore-ish noise with an amazing drummer. Sort of Nasum/Pig Destroyer and even TITD-ish, got to check out some of their stuff now and make it mine.
Jucifer were not my thing at all. I'd heard people saying that they had been to earlier dates on this tour and that Jucifer were better than TITD, sorry but I just don't see it. During the set I went outside to get an update on the Champion's League final in the football over the phone, it was a penalty shootout you see.
Today Is The Day - Good mix of stuff from the lads here; Complete Failure's drummer was helping them out and it was an intense, sweaty, fucking dark show. The lads put everything they had into this performance, just a shame hardly anyone turned up for it.
Finishing with an encore that started off with a bit of their cover of Wicked Game... I felt privileged to have been there, even if it did take three hours of making someone drive round a Chinese Pagoda and almost making the veins in his neck explode to get there.

Afterwards we went outside with Joe from Complete Failure and annoyed the emos who had been to the show next door, laughing at their hair and bumming cigarettes off them.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Today Is The Day @ Birmingham Academy, 21st May 2008

A couple days ago we took a short 200 mile round-trip journey to Birmingham to check out TODAY IS THE DAY & support on their current (Summer 2008) "Axis Of Eden" European Tour. They're in Europe until the 1st day of July, between here and then still they have another 40+ gigs to get through... and if every single one of them is played with the same levels of energy that they threw out at the crowd at the Birmingham Academy, those boys (and girl) are going to be some of the fittest people out there on tour this year.

The AXIS OF EDEN tour has 4 bands on the bill: The first band is called ???? ("4 Question Marks"), followed by COMPLETE FAILURE, with JUCIFER on second-to-last right before TODAY IS THE DAY take to the stage and spend an hour shredding their way through an extensive back catalog.

We (PATCHIE, SKUM & myself) had real trouble locating the venue for this show, even though we've been along to Brum several times in the past year. This was our first time at the Academy, although we're gonna be back there next week to see DIO. Birmingham is, like most city centres in England, a complete nightmare to drive around. It's all one way streets and dual carriageways! And what's more, my two traveling companions spent the entire journey down the M6 motorway listening to SAXON on the stereo, drinking Carlsberg and reading porno mags. Generally they were doing pretty much everything that I wanted to be doing! And they were doing it in true CLAW style... disgracefully! So by the time we arrived in Sabbath City I was pretty much left on my own to get us to the gig, I went around in circles for about 3 frustratingly long hours. It took a 45-minute directional phone call to finally get us there in the end. Oh yeah, we got pulled over by the cops on the way too.. Fucking pigs.

Once we arrived at the Birmingham Academy ???? had already played through their whole set, so we totally missed the opportunity to check them out. We got to the venue to find 2 of the guys from COMPLETE FAILURE - Joe and Eric - outside having a smoke, we spent 5 minutes there talking with them before we headed in to the bar.

Once inside SKUM made a bee-line straight across to Today Is The Day's front man, the one and only STEVE AUSTIN. He was looking lean and mean and oh-so psyched ahead of the show. You could see it in his eyes, he was ready to do something crazy! But he was the nicest guy on the night and spent some time talking with us and thanked us for making the journey. What a guy!

So, to the gig. Here's a little about each of the bands that we caught (sorry to the 4 QUESTION MARKS guys).


Complete Failure are Grindcore noise from Pittsburgh. I'd never heard em before, but I sure will be hearing a lot of them in the future. They were great stuff, playing on this tour as a 3-piece (the guys mentioned in between songs that their bassist couldn't make the tour because of a broken arm). This is their 1st European tour and they look well into the whole thing. I couldn't tell you the names of any of their songs, but I don't think that really matters to the guys in the band. You know, I wish I'd grabbed myself one of their t-shirts now. Dammit.


Man & wife combo "Amber Valentine & Edgar Livengood" are the gang-of-two who come together to make up JUCIFER. A lot of the crowd were here to see them, you could tell by the general reaction when their set began. I had never heard anything of the band before so I wasn't sure what to make of them. I still am not sure! They played loud and very melodic, but heavy-as-hell in some part, which is saying a lot considering that it's just one guitar and a set of drums. They reminded me of BLACK COBRA in that respect. I really dig Ed's trapper's hat that he wore throughout the set.


You can just tell that Steve Austin loves his band and he gives all in performance for a TODAY IS THE DAY show. This wasn't the usual TITD line-up however, Mike (drummer from COMPLETE FAILURE) is filling in for them during this tour. I spoke to him after the show, he is gonna be doing drums for both bands for all the dates on this tour. Man, that's a job right there. Let's hope he doesn't get fatigued before the tour is over. TITD tore through songs from most of their albums, none stop riff worship all the while. Austin had a couple of "solo" songs on stage with no backing, just a microphone while he curled up into a fetal position and sang. Almost all of the original sample intros were in place for each tune thanks to an on-stage laptop (the 4th member of the band!). It was a joy watching Austin & co abuse the facility and scream until the veins were popping out of their necks. No holds barred performance = WIN.

Not too many showed up to this show. Well, maybe 80 people were there watching. We spotted Dave from ANAAL NATHRAKH there, we caught up with the guys from CHARGER there too. I kind of expected to see more people, lots more, we even thought that it might have been a sell-out show. Far from it. It was the same for BRUTAL TRUTH when they played in Sheffield earlier this year, it was even worse when LESBIAN played Manchester in April. All of these great bands are making the effort to come over to Europe from the States and very few people who claim to be into their music are bothering to get off the backsides to support them.

PEOPLE OF ENGLAND NOTE: Bands aren't stupid, they will not bother coming back to see you if you don't bother to go and see them.

Charger, Crawe, Dragged into Sunlight, Bendal Interlude

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Raven's Creed

Holy Shit.
Mix together members of Iron Monkey, Orange Goblin and Sabbat, get them drunk and throw in a fucking big pile of "VEE, EE, EN, OH, EM!" worship and you've got Raven's Creed. They are currently planning to embark on a tour of this stinking island, see you on Bank Holiday in Leeds for some drinking cider out of skulls.



(Photo "liberated" from their myspace page where you can hear all the tracks off their Militia of Blood Sacrifice E.P.)

Monday, 19 May 2008

Wizard Fight Pull One Out Of The Bag.

We were going anyway, but I have just been informed that headlining (or, as Gloomy Sunday would put it, "going on last") at the Liverpool date starring:
The Bendal Interlude
Dragged Into Sunlight

...are Charger (Band of the day at Heavyfest as far as I'm concerned).

Be there, or be a fucking unaware square.
Korova, July 3rd, tax tbc.
Flyer to follow.

Nice one, John.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Thee Legendary David Coverdale...

This has to be the best so called "news" I have heard in ages....


WHITESNAKE frontman David Coverdale has contacted UK's Classic Rock magazine to set the record straight about his band's so-called plans to go on tour with LED ZEPPELIN.

Earlier in the week Coverdale was quoted as saying: "I'm expecting a call from Jimmy [Page] any day asking my band WHITESNAKE to support them on their world tour. Am I on board? You bet. Probably worth billions.”

In an e-mail to Classic Rock's Geoff Barton, Coverdale requested: "May I call upon your assistance, if needed, ol' cock, to help put out this shitstorm that be gathering steam about me supposedly saying I'm awaiting Lord Page's call to invite me to be the supporting act on the forthcoming LED ZEPPELIN world tour.

"What fucking world tour, we ask ourselves? We're already out on our Good To Be Bad world tour, thank you very much!"

Coverdale continued: "I have no idea where this started, Geoffers. But, with the wildfire of the internet, my poor ol' German publicist is fighting them off with her rusty, but trusty, Luger.

"I assure you there is no… (of course there fucking isn't) …any foundation in this.

"Why, after all the charming back-and-forths between one Monsieur Plant and oneself through the years, who could imagine such a premise possible? Not me, squire!

"Besides," Coverdale concluded, "I've got a hit record and a sold-out tour, and I'm currently pretty fucking busy playing nightly, and joyfully, with my Fab Musical Serpents, ol' chum! No complaints here…"

Good on ya, squire!!!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Nothing Until May 21st?

Look how gutted I am in the street at the end of Saturday's Heavyfest in Bradford.
Why? Well, we've got no road trips planned until we go to see Today is the Day on the 21st, unless something shows itself in the meantime, so here's a little bit of a playlist for you... see if you can get hold of any of these albums and enrich your life with them:

Judas Priest - British Steel
Aerosmith - Aerosmith
Motorhead - Another Perfect Day
Saxon - Denim and Leather
Count Raven - Storm Warning
Saint Vitus - V
Darkthrone - Soulside Journey.
A bit rock oriented I know, but hey; the summer's finally arrived in England, and you can't have a few cold ales in the garden and listen to Immortal. No, honestly.

Keep roaming people, back soon with more reviews, like the one I've just put online from Thursday.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Heavyfest @ 1 in 12, Bradford

Great day at the 1 in 12 in Bradford yesterday, but so much happened... right now I need to collect my thoughts on the whole thing. Does this count as 1 more gig to the 2008 Claw Tour or can I add it as 11 separate bands?

Here's some thoughts and photos all about the bands that played at the 2008 edition of HEAVYFEST:






Gruel are a band that can be described with one word... Drone. They came to the stage and produced an inverted cross (made out of light-bulbs), switched on the smoke machine and then started to make a right old nuisance of themselves in the best of punk tradition. Blood, animal bones, smoke, a bit more blood. That about covers it I think.


Their best gig so far. We saw They Are Cowards on Thursday night in Manchester and they looked tense. It was their first show, nerves etc, it was a very serious set. Heavyfest was a different vibe, the guys really seemed to enjoy their turn on stage. Drunken, sweaty & loud... but that applies to almost every band that played at this event I guess.


A contender for set of the festival, Black Sun came to the stage and they were already smashed out of their minds. Well, Kev (guitar) and Graeme (bass) were smashed, your man Russell (drums) seemed in good form. They played a blinder, lots of noise and huge angry volume. Kev started butting his microphone during the last few songs, God only knows what he was playing at there. No matter because it only added to the perfomance. The sweat was stinging my eyes by the end of their set and I was loving it. Black Sun are a band with huge stage presence.


Apologies to the fellas in Volition - I hardly saw any of their set! It was during the previous Black Sun set that one of the guys that I was with (Cov) fell unconsious and we had to call an ambulance to get him to the nearest hospital A&E unit quick. So while the rest of my friends were carefully putting him into the recovery position, I ran back into the venue and got some photos of Volition to include on here. After all, if I wasn't going to do it, who was?


Another band that we saw in Manchester earlier in the same week. Blackstar have made the transition between vocalists successfully, Mikey is giving it all in the lungs and throat department. They played the loudest set of Heavyfest (by far), I don't know what was going on with that. My ears have become accustomed to listening to stuff through massive amplifiers and I was doing pretty well all day throughout Heavyfest, then Lazarus Blackstar came on stage. Afterwards I had dull hearing and I am still struggling with it now.


Now yer talkin! For my sins I haven't seen Charger now for about 5 years, when they played the Cavern in Liverpool. Yes, it's really been that long. They are sporting a new line-up now and, although they never took to the stage til close to midnight, it was worth the 5 year wait. The crowd had started to thin out by the end of Heavyfest due to a combination of heat and too much booze (one guy had to be carted off to hospital). So Charger's audience comprised of a hardcore of alcohol-fueled nutters. One of the Black Sun guys stripped down to his skin and ran about the place naked during their set... unphased, Charger played on.


Twice in a week, I get to see Gloomy Sunday up on stage doing their thing. They played another great set but - I'm so pissed off about this - most of the crowd had started to make their way out fo the building while Charger were on and by the time it came to Gloomy Sunday's turn, all that was left watching was the guys from Lazarus Blackstar, a couple of Volition, Black Sun and about 5 others including myself. Okay, so it had been a long day but it's still not right. Anyways, everyone who left early were the ones who missed out. G/S did their thing and it was great to see. Towards the end of their set Denis (Guitar) had technical problems which held up the show for about 5 minutes until Kev from Black Sun (who was well and truly annihilated by this point) helped out the guys and played lead for the next song. Dennis held his own on vocals along side their main voacalist Jari.

Okay so now I owe you review-ettes on 4 more bands who hit the stage at Heavyfest. Maybe I'll get back to you on those a little later on, okay. No promises!

Friday, 9 May 2008

Church Of Misery Know What Their Claws Are For

Photo from the C.O.M. Myspace (just so you know, it's not one of ours):

Reclaiming THEE CLAW, one band at a time.

They Are Cowards / Black Sun / Lazarus Blackstar / Gloomy Sunday @ Star & Garter, Manchester

A few photos taken during last night's gig:

Another great gig from the Future Noise boys. All of the bands were new to me (or had new members amongst them at least).

Before the show started, before the venue had even opened up for business, me and Patchie showed up in Manchester, mainly because there was not much for us to do in Liverpool to kill time (apart from maybe walk about the city centre in the sunshine) and we have a bit of a ritual now before gigs of parking the car up and wandering around by the venue and checking the area out. It's just as well that we did so on this occasion - we started walking our way down the roadside by the Star & Garter - an old (and derelict looking) detached pub which is situated all on its own, smack-dab in the middle of Manchester's red-light district - and we happened upon 3 guys dressed in black who were sat on some grassland by the edge of a busy street. They were just sat with nothing to do, 3 of them on their own, along with some traveling gear comprising of assorted guitar cases and backpacks.

Turns out that these guys were GLOOMY SUNDAY, the last band playing this night's gig, they had flown in from Sweden only to get to the venue and find no one there to let them in. They'd been in town since 9am that day (we met them at about half 4 in the afternoon) and in the meantime they had pretty much been waiting outside the venue in the baking sun, sitting around and getting burned. No one there to meet them, no one there to greet them.

And then Thee Claw turns the corner to find a Scandinavian rock band sitting about looking desolate and bored. So what do we do? We do what any decent person would do - no, *Should* do - we put their bags and guitars in the back of our car and took the guys down to the local pub and got them some beer until we could arrange for someone to come to open the venue so the guys could get in their and soundcheck.

See, this is pretty much what Thee Claw does best. We turn up early and buy stranded band members beer. Lucky stroke. Actually, they saved us an unmemorable journey to the usual places along the lane, all we had plans of doing was walking to a rock club and sitting about listening to Venom on the jukebox. The Gloomy Sunday guys (3 out of 4 of them) were cool, in spite of the sunburn, we spent an hour or so with them in an Irish pub talking about traveling and future plans. The usual stuff when you first meet someone and go to the nearest bar I guess!

I'll leave it to Patchie to serve up a fantastical drunken gig review. After all, he somehow does that kind of thing much better than I tend to.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

They Are Cowards, Lazarus Blackstar, Black Sun, Gloomy Sunday

Ok, so here's my little bit of what I have to say about this gig at the Star and Garter (which is now completely cemented in the number one venue position in my mind).

We flew across the short distance from Liverpool to Manchester, listening to Priest and Sabbath, and when we got there the venue was closed still, and as Ste pointed out in his post we bumped into 3/4 of Gloomy Sunday, and nipped off for a few pints with them, nice lads, they'd been sat in the park from like 9am or something.
Anyway, we got over to the venue (after I nearly had the poor lads killed a few times due to my habit of walking straight out into oncoming traffic; after all I'm too metal for crossings, and the cars drive on the other side of the road in Sweden!) and bumped into Mikhell who is the newly installed vocalist of Lazarus Blackstar, and Dennis, the last quarter of Gloomy Sunday to arrive.
The guys then started to show up in droves, Dean from Huddersfield, Caitlin and Steve from Liverpool, Doomlord and Thee Barbarian from Manchester...everyone was out, the sun was shining and there was a night of doom, sludge and general filth in the offing.

So let's go!

They Are Cowards
They Are Cowards are angry.
No, scratch that, They Are Cowards are fucking livid.
Exactly what they are so angry about is a mystery, but you can feel it seeping off the stage and into everyone watching. I'd been listening to an advance copy of their demo for a day or two before this gig, and I was really looking forward to seeing them, and if you didn't know that this was their first show together you would never have guessed. We've also got one of their riffs stuck in our heads here at Claw Towers, how mad is that.

Lazarus Blackstar
I've seen tham a few times in the past, but this was the first time I'd seen them with new vocalist Mikhell (formerly of After The Massacre), and he's given them a whole new, more menacing edge. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this band develop, because they are crushing onstage.

Black Sun.
Coming from Scotland, Black Sun are something else. They have a t-shirt that has the backprint "You Won't Like It" which just about sums them up. They are a frightning fucking maelstrom of downtuned, fast, slow, scary scary shit.
And they are fucking nutters.
As Kevin crouches forwards towards his mic spitting out the think to yourself that this is the kind of music you don't want to listen to at rush hour on the motorway!

Gloomy Sunday
As I say, I'd nearly killed them a bit earlier on in the day, but I think they had forgiven me when they came onstage. As I say, three quarters Gothenburg Doomsters, one quarter English Doom, and all quarters fucking killer. I've been listening to their "Beyond Good and Evil" for a while, and seeing them bang this stuff out live was a real treat. The only thing that was off about this was that people had started to leave before they even came on.
Well, fuck them, it's their loss, Gloomy Sunday were (are) fucking brutal.

And their "Alucarda" shirt is awesome too.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Playlist Of The Minute (Ste)

Albums currently being spun/pressed/clicked:

Adrenaline O.D. - Phat 'N Old
Count Raven - Destruction Of The Void
Dio - Diamonds
Fugazi - End Hits
Kylesa - To Walk A Middle Course
Melvins - Nude With Boots (promo)
Minor Threat - Demos
Reino Ermitano - S/T
They Are Cowards - 2008 Demo
Witch - S/T
Witchfynde - Give 'Em Hell

Monday, 5 May 2008

Moss - Sub Templum

Through Lee Dorrian's Rise Above Records, release date is 26th May.

4 tracks of relentlessly heavy occult doom. Anti-music to control minds.

Available to pre-order now on:
Digi CD
200 black and violet double vinyl with poster and backpatch
200 clear double vinyl
600 black double vinyl

Hopefully this new record also means that we get a Moss tour sometime soon.